Independent living for seniors in Canada is any housing arrangement designed for seniors. Typically, these are for seniors aged 55 and older, and most seniors live completely independently. The housing types vary and could include apartment-style living, condo units, senior communities, and freestanding homes. Generally, housing is friendlier to older adults, and the homes are more compact and easier for older adults to navigate. Seniors that choose independent living no longer want the responsibility of owning a home with the daily tasks of home maintenances and yard work. Independent living is the best option for seniors that need little to no assistance with the activities of daily life; also, if they would like a place that requires little to no maintenance.
There are a variety of housing options across Canada that help seniors live independently. Co-housing involves sharing a home with a friend or family member, which cuts costs and is mutually beneficial for everyone. Most provinces offer life lease housing, which is through a religious or charitable organization, and residents pay a fee and monthly fees to live in a home for a specific time. Supportive housing refers to independent apartments with access to different services. Some of the services include housekeeping, personal support, and healthcare at a cost. Most provinces offer financial programs to help seniors afford to live independently. Typically, most independent senior housing is for seniors that are retired or semi-retired. Choosing to live independently does not mean that every senior is retired; some are still working or volunteering.
The Process of Selecting Independent Living
Every city providing independent living offers something different. Some of the most common cities seniors choose are Ottawa, Ontario, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Calgary, Alberta, Victoria, British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Swan River, Manitoba, for example. When seniors choose to live independently, it is not usually a quick decision. It takes time to think about housing options, especially those available to seniors. However, there is a wide range of housing options that suit a wide range of budgets, health needs, and personal preferences. It is important to ask the right questions and look at homes that meet your housing needs. When deciding to make a move to something different, it is crucial to consider your monthly budget for housing expenses. Also, what are the services or amenities you would require, which would include future needs.
Most seniors choose to live close to family and friends, which is important to consider for mental well-being. Some seniors need access to public transit or may require it in the future. Other things to consider include thinking about the amount of space you need, along with any home maintenance that may be required. There are excellent places to live across Canada and senior communities that help seniors live active independent lives. Some of the popular options include the west coast in the Metro Vancouver region, Vancouver Island and the British Columbia Interior. Southern Ontario is also a popular option to consider, which includes small-town Ontario, or even the Greater Toronto Area.
The Cost of Independent Living and the Senior Population In Canada
Most independent living in Canada is privately owned, and the cost depends on the location, community, and amenity options. The cost could range from $1,400 to $4,000 per month. The price does vary significantly within each province. For example, the cost of independent living would be higher in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, than in Winnipeg and St. John’s. Typically, independent living features include apartment-style one and two-bedroom units with a community setting. Some independent living for seniors includes convenient location for retail shops and recreational activities. Also, there are community options like gardens, pools, golf courses, hair salons, and fitness centers. Some other options include housekeeping, meals, laundry, and transportation. The cost of independent living is also based on what amenities are offered. Most seniors choose to add what they need as they need it because the average senior living independently is living without any assistance.
As the senior population continues to grow, the need for senior housing will increase. Over the next 20 years, the senior population is expected to grow by 68%. In 2017 there were about 6.2 million seniors, and by 2037 this is expected to grow to 10.4 million seniors aged 65 and older. Also, the subset of seniors aged 75 and older is growing at a faster pace. The population of Canada from 2017 to 2037 is expected to grow by 2.1 times its current size. The population of seniors in each province and territory is expected to grow significantly between 2017 and 2037.
Independent Housing Options for Canadian Seniors
Independent living ranges from apartment-style homes and condos to community living. However, some seniors choose to stay and age at home. If you are independent and healthy with enough savings, staying, and aging at home is a good option. Although the cost of modifying your home may be expensive, there are government options to help. Not every senior can afford to make new changes, yet every province does have its version of a home adaptation program. These are grants for low-income seniors so they can carry out repairs and modifications to increase home safety and accessibility. Seniors can also access tax credits and write-offs through provincial programs where credits and deferrals are offered.
Most provinces also offer assistance programs that can help increase a home’s energy efficiency, reduce utility bills, get aid for snow removal, and address minor repairs and preventative maintenance needs. When choosing independent housing options for seniors in Canada, there are many things to consider. A common option for some families is secondary suites, which is an independent secondary dwelling attached to the principal dwelling or in a separate structure on the same property. Some families wish to have their elderly family members stay on the same premises, which would include an in-law or granny suite. Overall, independent living is an option for seniors to live their days comfortably and enjoy semi-retirement or retirement while remaining close to family and friends.